Is anyone against or for the death penalty, Why?Is anyone against or for the death penalty, Why?

Expert Answers
brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have a different perspective.  I believe in the principle and idea of the death penalty, and that some criminals are so dangerous we cannot even keep them in prison.  That being said, I have neither seen a criminal justice system in practice in the United States, nor can I conceive of one, that could be fair in its application of the law regarding capital punishment.  The system is inevitably and inherently biased against the poor and against minorities, who are both executed in percentages greater than their share of the population.  There is also no evidence that capital punishment serves to deter other criminals.

Such a system also willl inevitably lead to some innocent people being put to death, and there will be no way to reverse it or make it right.  DNA evidence is bringing to light more and more cases where an innocent person was on death row, or had already been executed. Therefore, I think the death penalty should be abolished once and for all.

missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I believe you will find that for most people, this answer is dependent on a number of factors.

Thus, people will take into account the circumstances of the crime, the degree of violence in the crime, the continued threat the person poses to humanity even within a life without parole situation, and as mentioned above, the great need to protect a society.

In addition, there is the idea of deterrence which means that when criminals see other criminals severely punished, they are less likely to commit the same crime.

I am for the death penalty, but do not believe it needs to be used in all circumstances, particularly in circumstances during which the accused struggles with mental capacity.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I wonder whether there is a cultural element to this - as a Brit we are generally opposed to the death penalty. There have been too many cases of its misuse to guarantee correct administration of such a penalty. Also, as recent history in the US shows, with Death Row and the last man to be killed by the death penalty, there are numerous problems to ensure that prisoners are dealt with rapidly and do not spend years on Death Row awaiting their sentence. Lastly, the biggest ethical issue is are we entitled to decide to kill a man or not? What is the difference between a murder and killing someone with the death penalty, ultimately?

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am, reluctantly, for the death penalty.  I believe that there are some crimes that are so heinous that society demands that there be a death penalty available.

I think that society needs to feel like it is being protected.  It needs to feel that people who are murdered will be avenged.  At this point in time, Americans seem to need the death penalty in order to feel that their government is doing an adequate job of protecting society as a whole.  Because of this, I support the death penalty even though I have some serious reservations about it.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The death penalty as carried out on violent offenders does not seem statistically, socially, or in any other way a deterrent to other violent offenders. Perhaps these criminals don't care. Perhaps they don't think they'll get caught. I don't know. However, I am reluctantly for the death penalty. There are just some criminals who are so evil that they deserve to die.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am absolutely in favor of maintaining capital punishment in the United States. I, too, agree that it is not necessarily a deterrent to capital crime, but I think it is an appropriate punishment for citizens who decide to break the most serious of our laws. Murderers, rapists, and child molesters--especially those with multiple convictions--deserve nothing better.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I, too, am a proponent of capital punishment for those who commit capital crimes.  The death penalty is not, I agree, an effective or even ancillary deterrent to crime; however, itis a penalty (punishment) for a heinous and outrageously evil crime and society has the right, I believe, to punish the perpetrators of such crimes.

lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I truly believe that the Death Penalty is more about providing the survivors of the victims feeling that their loved ones death has been avenged. Unfortunately I do not believe it is an effective deterrent to serious crimes.

samantha96 | Student

In life we are taught that violence is not the answer and that murder is a sin, whether you are religious or not. The death penalty goes against everything that we are taught in life and everything that our parents teach us. If murder is illegal than why should the death penalty be any different. I believe that making someone rot away in a cell for the rest of there lives in deplorable prison conditions is far worse than the moment of pain they will feel before decending into death and basically getting off free of charge. God puts us on Earth for a reason and only he can take away our lives, others or ourselves cannot make the decision for him.

I believe that there is more evidence to support the arguement that the death penalty goes against human rights and is morally wrong.

seancarsonross | Student

You cannot impose law easily, because there are many considerations that will follow. One of it is Country's tradition and religion. If it is againts the religion then the Religious group will be againts on it.

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william1941 | Student

Though it may appear that the death penalty is a necessary deterrent to make people think twice before they commit a similar act, studies conducted all over the US and the World prove otherwise.

The murder rate in states with no death penalty has been found to be consistently lower than the murder rate in states with the death penalty.  Looking at the North, South, East and West regions of the US, the murder rate is highest in the South where 80% of criminals are punished with the death penalty.

A survey of police officers revealed that the death penalty is the last thing they consider as a deterrent to serious crimes. They placed curbing drug abuse, increasing the number of police officers, shortening the time taken for prosecution and increasing the length of imprisonment as better ways to reduce crime.